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Crows are remarkable birds, and spunky to boot. I still hold a grudge against them for disrupting my photo-shoot, but we’ll forget that for the moment.

Today while putting clothes out to dry I heard what I thought was a frantic cry. Some bird or other seemed to be in distress. Looking out, I saw a lone crow chasing a black kite. The kite flapped its wing and flew this way and that trying to shake off the puny-sized crow, but the crow relentlessly pursued.

Soon another crow was on the scene and the first one fell back, presumably to catch its breath, while the newcomer took on the job. I couldn’t really get what the dispute was about between the two. From a previous experience I know it must be a fight regarding food.

One morning while on my walk, I saw a dead mouse. Some crows were pecking at it. On my second round the same way, I heard a commotion, the crows seemed to be up in arms about something. There was a flap of huge wings and to my surprise I saw a kite flying low, chased by a murder of cawing crows. The kite probably wanted the dead mouse for itself, but the crows were like, ‘No way, buster!’

Recently I had the good fortune to see a crow which had made friends with a human. Well, it could be that it was the human who took the first step officially but it really doesn’t matter. Suffice to say they were really chummy with each other.

The L&M had stopped the car and got out at a wayside shop to buy some jeera when I noticed a crow sitting on the counter of the shop, very close to the shopkeeper. Much to my surprise, and of course delight, it hopped on to the man’s arm. The man was mock reprimanding it and the crow was listening to him with head tilted to one side as if it understood every single word. Perhaps it did, how would I know?

I requested for a picture and the man happily obliged. The crow had hopped off his arm by then and he called it back. Obediently it walked back and jumped on to his arm a second time. When the man tapped his head and said something, the crow dutifully pecked him gently on the head. It was amusing to watch, this unusual friendship between man and crow.

Meanwhile I noticed another crow hopping about on the other end of the counter. It was eyeing the scrubbers on display as if trying to choose one for its kitchen. Then it checked out the ropes made from coir. It looked to me like it needed materials for making a nest or may be it was just window-shopping. Was it also a ‘friend’ of the owner, I wondered. I didn’t have time to find out because the L&M was back and we were on the move once again.

© Shail Mohan 2023